Sunday, November 22, 2015

Spruce Kings Comeback Late to Win



                      4                                        Final Score                                        3
Penner, Brubacher, Stief, Epp
Goal Scorers
Laframboise, Hirose, Thibault
Total Shots
1st Period Shots
2nd Period Shots
3rd Period Shots
3 for 8
Power Play
2 for 5

3rd Star
Taro Hirosee
Liam McCloskey
2nd Star

Adam Brubacher
1st Star

Current Record

The Spruce Kings lost their captain, but had other leaders step up. Every player that scored Saturday either had a letter on their chest, or was a returning player from last year.

Heading into the game, the stats were daunting to say the least. Prince George was taking on the Salmon Arm Silverbacks who had won 10-1 the night before, and were second in the Interior Division. Goals For vs Goals against were a total opposite, as the Spruce Kings had scored 56 goals all season, and Salmon Arm had only allowed 54. Meanwhile the Silverbacks had scored 104 goals, and PG had allowed 104.

Sometimes stats are meant to be thrown out the window though. It was the Spruce Kings dominating early, and led 7-2 on shots early on. The Silverbacks would strike first though, as a funny bounce behind the net led to a pass out front where Josh Laframboise was all alone on the doorstep to slam home the first goal of the game.

Later on, Mitch Newsome took Jake LeBrun hard into the boards, and dropped the Prince George captain to the ice. Adam Burnett would come in and drop the gloves with the Salmon Arm player, but it was a scary scene as LeBrun remained down. He would stay down for a few minutes, and finally skate off under his own power, but he didn’t return to the game.

The Spruce Kings wouldn’t quit though, and it was an unlikely goal scorer ending the period on a good note. Stephen Penner had one goal coming into the game, and that was an empty netter scored earlier in the year against the Trail Smoke Eaters. This time Penner in net though, as he sent a wrister from the point into the top left corner. It looked to be more of a dump in, but managed to elude Brandon Kegler and find the top shelf. That would tie the game at one heading to the second period.

That was where special teams took over. Between the two teams, all five of the next goals were scored while on the power play. Salmon Arm started the period on the power play, and would wind up converting as Carson Bolduc sent a slap pass into the slot for Taro Hirose to knock home to restore the Silverback lead.

Later on it was Adam Brubacher with his second goal in as many games. On the power play it was a beautiful play as Bryan Basilico fed Corey Hoffman in the slot, and as two Silverback players converged on him, he dropped a pass back to Brubacher who slapped it home to tie the game at two. The assist was Hoffman’s first point since October 24th when he scored against the Coquitlam Express.

The third would start the same as the second, as Salmon Arm would start things off on the man advantage. They didn’t score on the first one, but had 20 seconds of 5-on3, and would score after Bryan Basilico emerged from the box to take the 3-2 lead.

Prince George would earn a late 5-on-3 of their own, and didn’t let the chance slip away. First it was Adam Brubacher and Matt Stief playing pass at the top of the circles, and with Brubacher already with one goal, the Silverbacks focussed in preventing a shot from him. Matt Stief didn’t want to be left out, so he took a pass, and rocketed the puck in to tie the game, and extend his point streak to nine games.

With the two man advantage over, the Spruce Kings still had a power play for over a minute. This time it was Braiden Epp potting home his first power play goal of the season. The third year forward found the puck in front of the net, and dug at the puck hard enough that it just crossed the goal line to give PG their first lead of the game.

Corey Hoffman took a penalty with two minutes left, and Salmon Arm would pull Kegler for most of the power play, but couldn’t take advantage, with Prince George closing things out to take the 4-3 decision. The same score as when the Spruce Kings beat the Silverbacks early in October.

Turning Point:
The 5-on-3 in the third where the Spruce Kings first tied the game, then scored with four seconds left on their second power play.

4-3 Prince George Spruce Kings at 14:06 (PP) Braiden Epp (unassisted)

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